Original Research

Respiratory symptoms among urban traffic policemen in Bangladesh: a cross-sectional study

Parvez Ahmed, Mahim Eaty, Nazmul Alam, Leela Anthony, Nawzia Yasmin
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 13, No 4 | a409 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2022.2147 | © 2024 Parvez Ahmed, Mahim Eaty, Nazmul Alam, Leela Anthony, Nawzia Yasmin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 April 2024 | Published: 31 December 2022

About the author(s)

Parvez Ahmed, State University of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Mahim Eaty, Technical officer, PLAN International, Bangladesh
Nazmul Alam, Asian University for Women, Chittagong, Bangladesh
Leela Anthony, AIMST University, Kedah, Malaysia
Nawzia Yasmin, Public Health, State University of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh


Background: There is accumulating evidence that roadside pollution is detrimental to health. Traffic police personnel are exposed to roadside pollution due to the nature of their job and are at risk of adverse health outcomes.

Objective:  This study aims to compare the risk of adverse respiratory symptoms in different categories of traffic police including traffic constables, sergeants, and inspectors.

Methods: The study population consisted of 369 randomly selected traffic police personnel from the city of Chittagong in Bangladesh. Information on their occupation and respiratory health symptoms were collected. The health outcomes were coughing, coughing sputum, coughing up blood, shortness of breathing, wheezing, and chest pain

Result: The risk of coughing [adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 4.469, 95% CI=1.265-15.793], coughing sputum [AOR= 3.687, 95% CI= 1.004 -13.540], coughing up blood [AOR=1.040, 95% CI=0.227-6.162], shortness of breathing [AOR=3.937, 95% CI=1.069-14.500], wheezing [AOR= 2.464, 95% CI= 0.613-9.906] and chest pain with deep breathing [AOR=2.163,95% CI= 0.560-8.349] was higher in traffic constables compared to inspectors. In sergeants odds increased for coughing up blood [AOR=1.102, 95% CI= 0.283-4.286] and wheezing [AOR=1.260, 95% CI= 0.304-5.229].

Conclusion:  There was a substantial difference in the risk of studied respiratory symptoms between different categories of traffic police jobs. Targeted occupational health interventions are recommended.


Occupational and environmental health; Traffic police; Respiratory symptoms; Epidemiology; Bangladesh


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